You Can’t Fire Me

Probably because so many friends were recently let go at AOL, I had a dream in which I was being laid off at some sort of organization that was a mash-up of AOL and the Fresno Bee (those two being the real jobs I had, back in the day). The funny thing is that in my dream, I am what I am now, which is a freelance dude who works on contract from time to time. So when the guy came in to tell me I’d been laid off, I just looked at him like he was nuts. Which was a nice feeling, even if it was just in a dream.

Left unanswered was what I was doing in an office, where I had apparently worked for years on end, if, in fact, I was a freelancer, but that’s dreaming for you. Dreams don’t actually have to make sense all the way through, or even part way through.

Also, I’m not sure why I was a parrot. That’s probably best left unexplored.

12 Comments on “You Can’t Fire Me”

  1. changterhune – Before you hear lies from Chang Terhune himself, we thought we’d tell you the truth: without us, his old action figures, he’d be nowhere. He loved science fiction from way back and began reading it at an early age, but it was through us that he acted it all out. That’s what led to the writing. He watched a lot of science fiction shows like Star Trek, U.F.O, and movies, too. But we were always there to do his bidding. And it’s like they say: you always forget about the little people on your way up. Oh, the 70’s and early 80’s with him were good times! He’d use these blocks and make all the crazy buildings for us to be in his stories. I gotta say the kid’s imagination was pretty damn fertile. Oh, he had friends, but they just weren’t into it like him. He was like the Lance Armstrong of action figures. And of science fiction. At first, when he began writing in the eighth grade, we didn’t mind. He still made time for us. And we knew that when he was holding us in his sweaty little hands and he got that far off look in his eye, he’d come back to burying us in the back yard or - god forbid! – blowing us up with firecrackers. But it was worth it for a part in one of those stories. We loved him for it. He kept us around even when we were minus a leg or two - or even a head. In that mind of his, he found a use for all of us. Then he discovered girls. October, 1986. It was like the end of the world. One day we’re standing in the middle of this building block creation he’d pretended was some marble city on a planet near Alpha Centauri and the next we were stuck in a box in the closet. Not even a “See ya later!” Nope, it was into the closet, then we heard some high-pitched girly-giggles then silence. We didn’t see him for years. We got word about him once in a while. Heard he took up writing, but it was crap like “The Breakfast Club” only with better music. We couldn’t believe it. Not Charlie. What happened to those aliens with heads he’d sculpted out of wax? Spaceships? Those complex plots? All gone. For what? You guessed it: Girls. Emotions. “Serious fiction.” I tell you, it was like hearing Elvis had left the building. During our two decade exile in the closet, we heard other things about him. He went to college. He wrote a lot, but not much he really liked. We knew it even then. It was like he didn’t dare write science fiction. Some of us had lost hope and just lay there. Others kept vigil, hoping for a day we didn’t dare speak about. Then we heard he’d stopped writing in 1996. Did he come to reclaim us? No. He took up music for ten years or so. He took up yoga. Once in a while, he’d visit us in the closet. But it was half-hearted. His mind was elsewhere. Then one day, he really did come back for us. One second we’re in the dark and the next thing we know we’re in a car headed for Massachusetts. Suddenly we got a whole shelf to ourselves out in broad daylight! Then he bought a bunch of others form some planet called Ebay. He’d just sit and stare at us with that old look. But why were we suddenly back in the picture? He had a wife now, who didn’t mind that he played with us. So what had happened? Turns out he’d never forgotten about those stories. He’d been thinking about all of us and the stories he’d made up and then remembered he’d been a writer once. From the shelf we could see him typing away. Before long he’s got a whole novel together! Then he’s working on another one. Word is there are two more in the planning stages! Some short stories, too! It’s good to see him using his imagination again. Its good to know he never abandoned us. He returned to his true love of science fiction. We hear the stories are pretty good. Someday we’ll get one of the cats to score us a copy of the manuscript. Man, it’s good to be out of the damn closet! --- I'm smarter than you I'm harder than you I'm better than you I'm just raw I'm hotter than you More popular than you More clever than you And goshdarn it, people like me I'm smarter than you I'm harder than you I'm better than you I'm just raw I'm hotter than you More popular than you More clever than you And goshdarn it, people like me
    Chang, liberated!

    I had the same dream except you were a parrot Jan Michael Vincent. Who went on to star in the remake of Big John Little John.

  2. According to an Online Dream Dictionary:

    http://www.dreammoods.com/dreamthemes/birds.htm

    Parrots

    To see a parrot in your dream, represents gossip. A message is being conveyed to you. It may also mean that you or someone is being repetitive or even mocking you. Alternatively, the parrot can denote a person in your waking life who is eccentric or obnoxious.

  3. [quote]Dreams don’t actually have to make sense all the way through, or even part way through[/quote]

    Or, they can make sense, but only to you. I wish stories worked that way…

  4. Well, there is all that rainbow plumage.

    Just don’t tell my wife. Because she’d be all, like, “that’s fine, but I get to watch.” Which would totally throw me off.

  5. Wait a minute! You wrote a novel someone finds out they’re really a sheep [If you haven’t read it, it’s Trask, which is why he feels so guilty after eating a woman in a wool sweater], and you can’t figure out why you were a parrot?

    It’s a Harry Creek novel waiting to happen!

  6. Just don’t tell my wife. Because she’d be all, like, “that’s fine, but I get to watch.” Which would totally throw me off.

    A woman after my own heart. And it throws off my husband too, even with his eyeliner and tight jeans!

  7. I just find it surprising that the Fresno Bee once had a good writer outside of the Sports section. Though to be fair to the Bee, I have no idea if you were a good writer then.

Exit mobile version
%%footer%%